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An annulment is a termination of marriage, but unlike a divorce that simply dissolves or terminates the marriage, an annulment is a legal proceeding that declares a marriage null and void by court order. In other words, an annulment is a legal procedure that declares that it’s as if the marriage never happened (and erasing the marriage).
An annulment has multiple purposes. For example, in some cases it may turn out your spouse was already married at the time of your marriage ceremony and therefore your marriage is null and void legally since in all of the states a person may not be married legally to more than one spouse. In other cases, people want to end and annul a marriage entered based on fraud, i.e. if they find out their spouse only married them for immigration benefits or lied about something major about themselves that may have prevented the innocent spouse from having married them in the first place.
What are the grounds for an annulment
- New York Domestic Relations Law has five grounds for annulment. Legally, there can be a no-fault annulment. To have your marriage annulled, one of the following grounds must be proven:
- One or both spouses were under the age of eighteen at the time of the marriage and did not have official permission from their parents to marry. This means the minor spouse did not have the legal capacity to make a binding contract like marriage on their own behalf.
- Mental incapacity of a spouse, which is discovered only after the marriage.
- A spouse is physically unable to have sexual intercourse and consummate a marriage. Yes, NY still considers marriage consummation a necessary act to make a marriage valid.
- Either spouse was mentally and incurably ill for at least 5 years prior to entering the marriage.
- The marriage consent of one spouse or both was obtained under fraud or duress or by force.
What about the children
Children born during a marriage that’s later voided and annulment are still considered legitimated children and the non-custodial parent will have to pay Child Support.
How do I get an annulment
At Shepelsky Law we can help you get an Annulment based on whatever unique situation you face as long as you can show one of the 5 grounds listed. Sometimes, an affidavit (sworn statement) from a witness is sufficient. While generally, an annulment in New York requires a trial and hearing before a judge, with the right legal representation you will be able to put the required proof together to avoid a trial in some situations. It is important to have experienced trusted matrimonial attorneys like Shepelsky Law Group on your side to right the wrong of an improper marriage.
Leave the complicated paperwork to us!
For more in-depth information regarding the annulment procedure, how to obtain an annulment, and what to expect in this process, please contact Shepelsky Law Group for immediate assistance.